UIC Transit Oriented Design Studio Taps Legat Architects’ Alan Bombick for CTA Wilson Station Study
[Chicago, IL] – An oddly shaped parcel of land straddles the Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) Wilson Station, now under renovation. What to do with that land was one of many challenges the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Studio faced when the CTA commissioned it to create a market-based concept for redevelopment of the Wilson Station area.
The studio’s solution makes the most of that skinny plot and creates new development opportunities for CTA-owned land, as well as for land owned by City Colleges of Chicago’s Truman College.
Alan Bombick, principal and mixed-use expert at Legat Architects, served as the UIC students’ architectural adviser among a group of experts from every facet of the development world. Drawing from decades of experience at Chicago mixed-use developments such as Harper Court (Hyde Park) and Eleven 20 Club (Oak Park), Bombick provided guidance related to program and design challenges for the tight urban site.
“With the current Wilson Station upgrades and the restoration of the historic Gerber Building beneath the ‘L’ tracks, the Uptown community is in the midst of a resurgence,” said Bombick. “The TOD Studio created a strong plan aimed at regenerating one of Chicago’s densest communities.”
The TOD Studio’s concept provides a framework for development around the Wilson Station and serves as a model for other transportation-rich areas of the city. The students began by analyzing big data, community, and context. They then produced a study addressing access, urban mobility, and placemaking in the redevelopment process.
Bombick said, “It was refreshing to see a multidisciplinary approach applied in the studio. When challenges arose, students were always able to step up and keep momentum going by applying knowledge from their area of interest.”
Bombick was enlisted as the architect among over 20 professional advisers to guide the students’ efforts in the UIC studio.
“The TOD Studio’s multidisciplinary approach brought together many points of view in a truly comprehensive approach,” said Bombick. “By combining their backgrounds in planning, architecture, business, law, finance, and real estate with the input of expert advisers, the students attained a progressive solution that addresses both development and community needs on many levels. The result is a highly contextual design grounded in the new economy and urban design reality.”
Images courtesy UIC TOD Studio.